July 21, 2023

From Gerald R. Lucas

Great Day

My service light has been on the BMW R 1200 GS for a little while now, so I finally scheduled my appointment in Columbus today. And even though I ended up spending about $1000 more than I had anticipated on said service, I ended up having a great day.

Giles and I headed out early—just after I took Henry to school. The GS’s thermometer read upper-70s to low-80s as we made our way west; little traffic and two-lane roads made for a pleasant trip to Extreme Powersports in Columbus for my service appointment. I wasn’t sure what the service would entail (I could have looked in my book, I guess), but I know I needed a new battery. I checked the bike in, and Giles and I headed downtown for some early lunch.

Giles found the place: The Animal Farm. And what a great find it was. We both had the Harlot Burger, which turned out to be the best burger I’ve had this year. Everything about it was perfect—even my side salad (I skipped the fries to not be totally bad) was great: pickled onions, fresh cherry tomatoes, and arugula made for a tasty summer mixture. The rest of the menu—including fancy cocktails—also sounded great, so I’m sure to return. Great food, atmosphere, and excellent service makes The Animal Farm a Columbus gem.

In Ma Rainey’s bedroom.

After lunch we decided to go back to a museum we’ve been to before: the Columbus Museum. Our last visit was during COVID, so we only checked out the gardens. This time, we decided to visit the museum. However, it was closed for renovations. Since I hadn’t heard from the dealership, we still had some time. I Googled “museum” and found the Ma Rainey House and Blues Museum just around the block. And what a find it was.

The museum is in Ma Rainey’s actual house, mostly restored. We were greeted by Xavier, a young guy who gave us a tour of this compact but well done museum. The upstairs was incomplete, but the first floor contains a wealth of history and photos not only about Ma herself, but of American history through the blues—especially the significant role that Georgia artists played in that history. What a great find. Since I teach Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom rather often, I now can recommend this somewhat local resource for my students.

I also met Ben Johnson who is making a documentary on Ma Rainey. He and I chatted a bit and exchanged information. I told him I’m interested to see his film, and he promised to keep me informed. We chatted with Xavier for a while, and the visit to the Ma Rainey's house ended up being a summer highlight. I was embarrassed that i didn’t know about this sooner. If you’re in Columbus, check this place out.

The GS was finished about 15:00. I was originally expecting to pay no more than $400 for the entire thing. However, it was $1300! I love my GS, but it certainly ain’t cheap. Coincidentally, I just made the final payment on the GS two days before, but payments never really end, do they? Oh, and I have to bring the bike back soon to get recall work done; they had to order the parts.

As Giles needed to get back to Macon to get his dog from the kennel before five, he and I parted ways. I headed to Musella to meet Autumn, Henry, and Max at Dickey Farms for some peach ice cream. The ride there was nice, though comparably hotter than the morning one. Also, it might have been mostly psychological, but the GS felt more tuned. The brakes had definitely been adjusted. Of course I beat them there by a couple of minutes, but they soon arrived. We did what you do at Dickey’s, and I was back on the road by about 17:30 for a lovely ride home.

What a great day.